2011 World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky
Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
Official Report
Event #58
Final Report (End of Day Ten)
No-Limit Hold’em World Championship
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,865
Total Net Prize Pool: $64,540,858
Number of Places Paid: 693
First Place Prize: $8,715,638
July 7th through November 8th, 2011



HEADLINES

Pius the First

Pius Heinz Wins 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship

Player from Germany Wins World Poker Championship for First Time

Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko Finishes as Runner Up, American Ben Lamb Takes Third

Heinz-Staszko Heads-Up Showdown Lasts Six Hours

World Watches First Live Telecast from Start to Finish

Seven Different Nations Represented Amongst November Nine Finalists

It’s Official:  Ben Lamb Wins 2011 “WSOP Player of the Year” Race

Biggest WSOP in History Ends with a Bang – Numerous Records Shattered Over Course of 58-Event Series


OVERVIEW


Pius Heinz is the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.

The 22-year-old professional poker player from Cologne stunned the poker world by becoming the first player in history from Germany to win poker’s most prestigious title.  Heinz pulled off a masterful performance during the two-day final table session, which began on Sunday afternoon inside the Penn and Teller Theatre at the Rio in Las Vegas and ended late Tuesday night on a confetti-splattered stage accustomed to acts of magic.

With his stunning comeback victory, Heinz collected a whopping $8,715,638 in prize money – the third-highest payout for any poker champion in history.  He was also presented with the game’s most coveted prize, the WSOP gold and diamond bracelet – which symbolizes poker’s supreme achievement.

The odds were stacked against Heinz from the start.  First, he had to overcome the third-largest live tournament field in history, battling 6,865 players from 85 different nations who flooded into the Rio last summer in what was the first hurdle for all aspiring champions.  Then, Heinz had to outlast an increasingly tougher field over the initial eight days of play, en route to inclusion in poker’s famed “November Nine” – which refers to the final nine players who ultimately make it to poker’s biggest game.  Next came a nearly four-month wait during the interim between July and November, after which Heinz returned to Las Vegas hoping to write the latest chapter of poker history.

Indeed, Heinz’s biggest test was still to come.  He arrived at the finale against eight formidable opponents with one of the lowest chip stacks -- ranking seventh in chips out of nine players.

But if ever there was a fairy-tale ending to what was one of the biggest and richest poker tournaments of all time, Heinz was perfectly cast in the unlikely role of this year’s poker Cinderella.

During Sunday's exciting final table session -- which included nearly eight hours of thrilling poker action and the elimination of six players -- Heinz enjoyed the poker rush of a lifetime.  He began play ranked seventh in chips.  By the time it was over, the German poker pro ended the night as chip leader.

That left just three players still alive in the quest for the world championship – Heinz, along with Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko.

Play resumed on Tuesday night and from the very first hand dealt, the results were stunning.  During the opening moments of the final table’s last stages, Ben Lamb, widely-regarded as the world’s top tournament poker player at the moment, and winner of the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” title, busted out in shocking fashion.

His elimination was not as stunning as the manner in which it occurred, which many observers would have thought unthinkable.

On the first hand dealt during the three-handed session, Lamb made a baffling move, trying to steal from opponent Martin Staszko in what can best be described as a highly-risky decision.  Facing a strong pre-flop raise from his Czech opponent, Lamb re-raised again holding king-jack – quite a marginal hand.  Staszko, holding pocket sevens, shoved all-in which left Lamb shaking his head pondering a bad situation.  Pot-committed to the hand, Lamb reluctantly called.  Staszko was all-in for his tournament life.

Lamb found himself only a slight dog to the underpair.  But he knew he’d played the hand way too strongly.  When five blanks hit the board, Lamb was left with a severely short stack.  He was eliminated just ten minutes later.

Accordingly, Lamb joined the ranks of all those before who were eliminated and are now forced to look forward to next year, and beyond.

Nonetheless, Lamb could certainly take great pride in what was a remarkable accomplishment.  He collected his biggest poker payout ever, $4,021,138 for third place.  He also became this year’s undisputed “Player of the Year.”  The former gold bracelet winner’s summer accomplishments were so strong that he had the title locked up no matter where he finished at the Main Event final table.  As it stands now, Lamb ended up with a gold bracelet, a third-place finish in the Main Event, a runner-up finish in another event, and five top-12 finishes.  Even more remarkably, Lamb only entered a dozen or so events this year.

With Lamb’s stunning departure, two Europeans were left to battle for the world championship.  Staszko (Czech Republic) began heads-up play holding a slight chip lead over Heinz (Germany).

Heads-up play lasted for more than six hours, falling somewhat short of the longest duel in history set 28 years ago by Tom McEvoy and Rod Peate in the 1983 finale (which lasted about 7.5 hours).  During this final duel, the two Europeans battled back and forth, exchanging the chip lead several times.  With an ongoing chorus of chants and songs in the packed gallery normally heard in a World Cup soccer match, the two finalists in poker's world championship were serenaded to play the best poker of their lives.  And that's exactly what happened.  Both players burrowed in, neither giving the other an inch.
 
After Heinz regained the chip lead on what was the ninth and final chip-lead change of the duel, a short time later he began to pull away and was ahead by about a 5 to 1 margin.  The final hand was dealt when Heinz bested Staszko holding ace-king.  Neither player made a pair, which meant Heinz's ace-high played as the winning hand.

As runner up, Martin Staszko became the richest Czech poker player in history.  He earned a mammoth, if temporarily unsatisfying, consolation prize amounting to $5,433,086.  Incredibly, Staszko came into the finale as the player with the least live poker experience.  A chess master, Staszko used his expert gamesmanship to learn a new trade and will be a player to watch for many years ahead.

Heinz’s championship victory was memorable for other reasons, too.  The final table was watched in more countries and in a live format than ever before.  For the first time in history, poker players and fans everywhere tuned in and watched all the action via a live stream as well as on the ESPN network.  Comprehensive coverage included expert analysis and player hole cards being shown to viewers – a WSOP first.

No doubt, just as the sun was rising back in Europe, many blurry-eyed Germans were awakening to the big news that one of their own had done what only 36 others have done in history.  Heinz will return to his native Germany in a new role – as poker ambassador and the reigning world champion.


THE WINNER – PIUS HEINZ

The winner of $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event Championship was Pius Heinz, from Cologne, Germany.

Heinz is a 22-year-old professional poker player.  He has been playing full-time for about four years. 

Heinz was born in Euskirchen, Germany.

Heinz’s parents are divorced.  His mother works as a civil servant.  She accompanied him to Las Vegas and cheered his victory.

Heinz is single.

Heinz attended a university for two semesters, but did not complete his college degree.  He decided to focus on poker and put himself to the test at this year’s WSOP.  Prior to making it to the final table, Heinz stated that he was going to re-evaluate his career decision and perhaps return to school or take another job at some point.

This was the first year that Heinz attended and played in the WSOP.

This was Heinz’s second time to cash in a WSOP event.  He finished seventh in a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #48), which paid $83,286.

With this victory, Heinz now has one win, two final table appearances, and two cashes at the WSOP.  Heinz’s career WSOP earnings now total $8,798,924 in prize money.

Heinz is to be classified as a professional poker player, since he has been playing full time for about four years.  He has played much more online poker than live poker during his lifetime.

Prior to playing at the final table, Heinz was asked if he would hypothetically take second place if it were offered to him (he started play at the final table ranked in seventh place).  Heinz conveyed that he would have accepted the runner up position, which paid $5.4 million.

This is only the second time in history that a player from mainland Europe has won poker’s world title.  The only previous mainland European winner was Peter Eastgate (2008).  However, players from Great Britain (Mansour Matloubi -- 1990) and Ireland (Noel Furlong -- 1999) have also won.

Heinz is the first WSOP Main Event champion in history from Germany.

Heinz is the seventh German player in WSOP history to win a gold bracelet, which is the eighth WSOP victory for a player from Germany (Eddy Scharf has two wins).  The other German players with WSOP victories include – Matthias Rohnacher, Thomas Bihl, Michael Keiner, Sebastian Ruthenberg, and Katja Thater.

Young players have done exceptionally well in the WSOP Main Event.  With Heinz’s win, the last four world champions were aged 23, 21, 21, and 22 respectfully at the time of their victories.

Heinz collected $8,715,638 in prize money.  He was also presented with the game's most coveted prize -- the custom-designed WSOP gold and diamond bracelet. 

Heinz was presented the gold bracelet by defending world poker champion Jonathan Duhamel, who won his title on the same stage one year ago.

As the WSOP Main Event Champion, Heinz achieves instant fame, fortune and immortality.  Heinz is now universally acknowledged as the reigning world poker champion.


WINNER QUOTES -- THE NEW CHAMPION SPEAKS

Note:  The following interview took place prior to the start of the final table on November 6th:


Question:  Did Sunday go as planned?
 
Heinz:  No.  This day went much better than planned, obviously.  I came in seventh and after the first break which was 30 minutes into the action, I had the least amount of chips of anyone.  When I first sat down, I was really nervous.  But then during the break, I realized that I still had 20 big blinds left and I was determined to play as good as a can and see what happens.
 
Question:  The final table atmosphere, with all the lights, cameras, and big crowds was very different from back in July.  How did that affect you?
 
Heinz:  I honestly enjolyed it.  It didn't make me nervous.  The reason I was nervous during the first 30 minutes was not the crowd I don't think.  It was just that I was finally sitting at the final table.  But I enjoyed what happened.  It was a lot of fun.
 
Question:  You came into the final table as one of the shortest stacks.  Now, you enter Tuesday's session as the chip leader, which is a complete reversal.  How does that change the way you approach the finale?
 
Heinz:  Obviously, being the chip leader is really, really good.  It gives me the ability to be more creative.  When you  are playing with 25 big blinds, you are kind of handcuffed as to what you can do.  You can't do as much, especially post-flop.  Now with many more chips, you have a lot more room to manuever and can do a lot more creative things.
 
Question:  When you are playing at this level, with so much deep thinking and pressure of everyone watching every move, is it fun?
 
Heinz:  Yeah, it is.  This is what makes it so much fun.  The final table is really tough.  Each player was very good and I respected each one of them.  When you are playing against those kinds of players, it gets to be really fun.  Obviously, it also gets a lot tougher.  The mind game is a much bigger part of it than the cards actually are.  Of course, it helps to have good cards.  But the mental game is a big part of it.
 
Question:  The mental part of poker seems to have taken a new twist this year because of the live coverage and the break.  There is a whole lot more information out there.  Is that something that was noticable to you as you played on Sunday?
 
Heinz:  Yeah, definitely.  You have to think about it.  But I don't think it's the most important factor because whenever you play a pot you have a decent opinion about your opponent and his range (of hands).  It really doesn't matter what particular (past results you consider) because you already have an idea of the range of hands he will play in that situation.  You can always go back and see -- did he bluff me in that situation or not?  But that can also mess with your confidence, as well.  If you think the guy is never bluffing and he bluffed you on a hand (you find out later), that affects your confidence.  On the other hand, if you think he always has the nuts here and he in fact had the nuts, you feel a lot better about your fold.  So, this influences the decisions you make, but it's not the most important thing.
 
Question:  What did you think of Ben Lamb's play, on Sunday?
 
Heinz:  He played good -- as always.  But today, I think I got the better of him because I just got better cards than he did.  I respect his game a lot and respect him as a person, as well.  It's going to be interesting to see what happens (on Tuesday).
 
Question:  What about Martin Staszko's play, on Sunday?
 
Heinz:  I think Martin was really card dead today.  But the hands he played, he did not make any big mistakes.  So, he is going to be tough to play against as well.  I guess Ben and I are the favorites to play heads up.  But you should definitely know that Martin will make it tough on us.
 
Question:  What do you expect to happen on Tuesday night, playing the final session of poker's world championship?
 
Heinz:  When I sat down to play today, like I said before -- I was really nervous.  It was the only time in the entire three months we were off that I felt that way.  I might feel the same way again when I first sit down on Tuesday.  But when we start playing again and I get into my game, I am hoping things will go my way.  All I can do is play the best I can, and hope for the best.  

..........
 
Note:  The following interview took place a few moments following his victory on November 9th:

On his feelings immediately after winning a WSOP gold bracelet:  “This is the happiest day of my life, obviously.  I really am speechless right now.  I could not imagine this would ever happen to me.”

On what he expects the reaction to be in Germany to becoming the first-ever German world poker champion:  “They are going to be very excited.  I think this does a lot of poker back in Germany.  It is very big already there, especially with people my age.  But I really can’t imagine what’s happening right now.  I am just so happy to come here and win.  It’s really a dream for me.”

On what was going through his mind during the final hand:  “I knew I had Martin because I was dealt ace-king.  It would be difficult for him to have a better hand than me.  So, I was just hoping to not get unlucky on the last hand.  It was like a dream, really.  It’s hard for me to think about what was going through my mind because it was like I was dizzy.  I was a little nervous again when the final table started back (Tuesday).  But when the last hand was played, I was just thinking to myself not to get unlucky.  When I heard all the cheering for me, I just could not believe it.”

On having his mother and sister and many friends supporting him:  “They were cheering for me the entire time and they were very loud.  I tried to focus on the game, but they were cheering the whole time.  I could hear the others too in the crowd who were cheering for the others.  But I was able to focus really good.  I was so happy that my family came to Las Vegas to be here.  My mother went to the hotel room because she was so nervous.  She could not watch the final. 

On Martin Staszko’s play:  “I thought he played really great.  He was very tough for me because we played such a long time heads up.”

On what he plans to do during the days and weeks ahead:  “I am not sure right now.  All I can think about is this moment.  It’s like once in a lifetime I will get to have this.  So, I want to enjoy it while I can.  I have not really even thought about tomorrow.  All I can think about is right now and what happened tonight.  It’s really unbelievable.”


THE FINAL TABLE

For the purposes of WSOP records and results, this “official” final table was comprised of the final nine players (top nine finishers). 

Since 2008, due to the altered format of playing the final table during the fall following the summer sessions, the finalists have been called the “November Nine.:

Each of the players who made it to the final table was guaranteed $782,115 in prize money.  All players were paid that sum in full when play was suspended for the recess.  Eight of the top nine finishers become instant millionaires, since the eighth-place finisher was guaranteed to collect $1,010,015 in prize money.

The final table included only one former gold bracelet winner – Ben Lamb.

This final table was the most international collection of any Main Event final table in the 42-year-history of the WSOP.  In fact, it was quite likely the most cosmopolitan of any poker event ever held in North America.  Players from seven different countries were represented.  Three nations – Belize, Czech Republic, and Ukraine sent a finalist to poker’s world championship for the first time.

When final table play began, the players and chip counts were as follows:
Seat 1: Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV) – 24,750,000 in chips
Seat 2: Badih Bou-Nahra (Belize City, Belize) – 19,700,000 in chips
Seat 3: Eoghan O’Dea (Dublin, Ireland) – 33,925,000 in chips
Seat 4: Phil Collins (Las Vegas, NV) – 23,875,000 in chips
Seat 5: Anton Makiievskyi (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) – 13,825,000 in chips
Seat 6: Sam Holden (Sussex, UK) – 12,375,000 in chips
Seat 7: Pius Heinz (Cologne, Germany) – 16,425,000 in chips
Seat 8: Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK) – 20,875,000 in chips
Seat 9: Martin Staszko (Trinec, Czech Republic) – 40,175,000 in chips

Seven of the nine finalists were aged in their 20s.  The ages of final table players were – 26, 47, 26, 26, 21, 22, 22, 26 and 35. The average age of players was 28 years.

The oldest player among the final nine was Bob Bounahra – at 47-years-old.

The youngest player among the final nine was Anton Makiievskyi.  At 21-years-old, he had the chance to become the youngest world champion in the WSOP’s 42-year history.  Instead, he finished in eighth place.

Eight of the nine finalists were professional poker players.  The exception was amateur Bob Bounahra, a businessman.

The top two finishers were Europeans.  This was only the second time in WSOP history that two non-Americans played heads-up for the title.  The other occasion was in 2008 when Peter Eastgate (Denmark) bested Ivan Demidov (Russia).

Only one player at the final table wore sunglasses.  Since 2003, at least three or more players have worn sunglasses at the final table.

Eoghan O’Dea’s appearance at the final table meant the first time in history that a father-son combination has ever made it to poker’s most prestigious table.  Eoghan’s father Donnacha O’Dea made it to the Main Event finale back in 1983 (finishing sixth) and 1991 ( finishing ninth).  Oddly enough, his son also finished in sixth place, this year. 

Heads-up play lasted six hours, which was one of the longest duels in Main Event history.  However, the showdown did not come close to breaking the record, set by Tom McEvoy and Rod Peate, in 1983.  That heads-up match lasted about 7.5 hours (no official time record was kept that year).

During the heads-up duel, the chip lead changed nine times.

The final table included 301 hands.

The runner up was Martin Staszko, from Trinec, Czech Republic.  He is a 35-year-old professional poker player.  He became the first player ever from the Czech Republic to make it to the Main Event final table. He arrived at the final table as the chip leader, but could not overcome Heinz in the heads-up showdown.  Staszko’s high point came about four hours into the duel when he had about a 3 to 1 chip lead.  But Heinz came back each time and ultimately regained the lead.  As the second-place finisher, Staszko became the richest Czech poker player in history.  He earned a consolation prize amounting to $5,433,086 in prize money.

The final hand took place when Heinz had about a 5 to 1 chip lead.  He was dealt ace-king offsuit versus ten-seven suited.  Five blanks hit the board, which meant neither player made a pair.  Heinz’s ace-high played as the winning hand. 

The final chip count for the tournament winner amounted to 205,900,000 in chips – which represented every single chip from the initial 6,865 players who started the Main Event back in July 2011.

The third-place finisher was Ben Lamb, from Tulsa, OK.  He collected his biggest poker payout ever, $4,021,138 -- for third place.  He also became this year’s “Player of the Year.”  The former gold bracelet winner’s summer accomplishments were so strong that he had the title locked up no matter where he finished at the Main Event final table.  As it stands now, Lamb ended up with a gold bracelet, a third-place finish in the Main Event, a runner-up finish in another event, and five top-12 finishes.  Even more remarkably, Lamb only entered a dozen or so events this year.

The fourth-place finisher was Matt Giannetti, from Las Vegas, NV.  He was the first player eliminated after the dinner break on Sunday night, and the last player to bust out on the first of two final table playing sessions.  Giannetti could take satisfaction in collecting $3,012,700 in prize money -- more than every single Main Event winner earned up until 2004.  But collecting more than three million was the last thing on the mind of Giannetti as he exited the Penn and Teller Theatre in disappointment.  Giannetti is a 26-year-old poker pro. Prior to playing full time, Giannetti attended the University of Texas. He was short-stacked during much of the later stages of Day Eight, but managed to survive a number of all-ins and arrived at the final table right in the top three (third of nine players).

The fifth-place finisher was Phil Collins, a 26-year-old pro poker player.  He was previously a college student.  He attended the University of South Carolina.  He met his wife Katie while in school.  She lived across the hall from him.  They were married last year.  He played a lot of online poker until the developments of April 2011.  Collins endured a painful final hour at the final table.  Seemingly card dead for most of the six hours he was in contention, Collins never made the rush that many were hoping for and others were anticipating.  One of the finale’s top online pros, Collins’ advantages seemed to increase as players gradually fell by the wayside and made for a shorter-handed table.  But Collins' lack of chips hurt him in the end, his problems exacerbated by being up against four very strong opponents playing their best games on poker's biggest stage.  Collins hoovered around 20,000,000 during most of Sunday.  Collins was eliminated on the very next hand following Eoghan O’Dea’s bust out.  If there was any consolation prize from the disappointment it was that the higher finish earned the Las Vegas an extra half-million in prize money.  Had Collins went out earlier, he would have collected a little more than $1.7 million.  Instead, he received $2,269,599, his biggest career payout by far. 

The sixth-place finisher was Eoghan O’Dea, from Dublin, Ireland.  O’Dea is a 26-year-old poker pro.  This was his fifth WSOP cash, four of which have taken place this year.  He had also cashed in several major tournaments, mostly in Europe.  O’Dea was second in chips when final table play began.  But O’Dea suffered what many would consider to be the final table’s biggest disappointment, given several factors.  First, he arrived amidst the final nine with a top poker pedigree.  His father, legendary Irish gambler Donnacha O’Dea made it to the Main Event final table twice.  O’Dea was also viewed by many experts as one of the finale’s best players, illustrated by a number of high finishes in European poker tournaments.  Moreover, he came into the Sunday session ranked second in chips.  O’Dea lost an early pot, which severely knocked him down the chip ladder.  He was never able to recover and bring about the swagger and confidence normally associated with many top Irish poker pros.  Nonetheless, O’Dea can now look back on a remarkable accomplishment.  He collected his biggest poker payout ever, $1,720,831 for sixth place.  Had O’Dea managed to win, he would have become the second Irish poker champion in history.  As things turned out, fellow Irishman Noel Furong remains as the sole Irish world champion.

The seventh-place finisher was Bob Bounahra, from Belize City, Belize.  He was the first player from Belize ever to make it to the Main Event final table.  He is a 47-year-old businessman.  Bounahra was actually born in Lebanon, but is proud to now call Belize City his home.  Bounahra was very low on chips on Day Six, but ran well late and survived.  He came to the final table with an average-sized stack. Bob Bounahra (a.k.a. Badih Bou-Nahra) was clearly one of the crowd favorites and came into the finale with the right attitude.  “I came here to play poker and have fun,” the 49-year-old amateur poker player stated moments after coming up short in a fateful hand against the Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko.  “Having fun is what it’s all about.  This was the experience of a lifetime and I have no regrets,” Bounahra added.  Bounahra arrived at the finale ranked sixth in chips, down by more than 2 to 1 to the chip leader.  Even more of a challenge was his status as the finale’s only non-pro.  Hoping to join the ranks of some similar former champions who pulled off monumental upsets in the world championship – Robert Varkonyi, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer to name a few – Bounahra shed the jitters that normally affect players on poker’s grandest stage.  Chomping on an unlit cigar during his nearly five-hour stay, Bounahra was finally knocked out when he lost his final hand against Martin Staszko.  Nonetheless, Bounahra collected his biggest poker payout ever, $1,314,097 for seventh place.  This marked only his second time to cash in a WSOP event, following an in-the-money finish three years ago.  Had Bounahra managed to win, he would have become the first Central American poker champion in history.  He thus joins Humberto Brenes (Costa Rica) as the only player in history to make it to the Main Event finale from that region of the world.

The eighth-place finisher was Anton Makiievskyi, a 21-year-old aspiring poker pro.  This was his first trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas.  Four Ukrainians won gold bracelets this year.  Makiievskyi hoped to become the fifth, but came up short. Nevertheless, this marks the first time a Ukrainian player has ever appeared at the Main Event final table.  Makiievskyi, from Dnipropetrovsk, Urkaine became the second player to exit from the WSOP Main Event Championship final table, following Great Britain’s Sam Holden (9th place) just moments earlier.  Makiievskyi suffered something of a bad beat on what turned out to be his final hand when chip leader Pius Heinz spiked a full house on the turn.  The two-outer knocked out the Ukraine’s top championship finisher.  Nonetheless, Makiievskyi collected his biggest poker payout ever, $1,010,015 for eighth place.  This marked his second time to cash in a WSOP event, following an in-the-money finish in Cannes (WSOP Europe) last month.  Had Makiievskyi managed to win, he would have become the first Eastern European poker champion in history.

The ninth-place finisher was Sam Holden.  He lasted more than three hours at the final table.  The professional poker player from Sussex, UK became the first player to exit from the WSOP Main Event Championship final table when Ben Lamb held the dominant hand and knocked out Great Britain's top championship finisher.  Holden collected his biggest poker payout ever, $782,115 for ninth place.  This marked his first time to cash in any WSOP event.  Had Holden managed to win, he would have become only the second British poker champion in history, after fellow-Englishman Mansour Matloubi’s surprising victory in the Main Event 21 years ago.

Final table play began at 12:23 pm on Sunday.  The first session ended at 10:50 pm (there was a 90-minute dinner break).  Tuesday’s session began at 5:52 pm.  Play ended at 12:15 am.  The total duration (both playing sessions combined) was 16 hours, and 6 minutes.


THE FINAL TABLE:  HOW FINISHERS 9-2 BUSTED OUT


9th Place – Sam Holden was eliminated after more than three hours elapsed at the final table.  The fateful hand came as follows:
Ben Lamb:     
Sam Holden:     
Flop:       
Turn:  
River:   
Holden moved all-in pre-flop, and was called by Lamb, who had about three times as many chips as his opponent.  The flop brought an ace, which gave both players top pair.  But Holden had serious kicker problems.  Making matters worse, three clubs flopped and Lamb had the only club.  The queen of clubs on the turn ended Holden's shot of survival.  A river blank gave Lamb the 20,000,000 pot and knocked Holden to the rail in ninth place

8th Place – Anton Makiievskyi was eliminated on the 59th hand played at the final table.  The fateful hand came as follows:
Anton Makiievskyi:     
Pius Heinz:     
Flop:       
Turn:   
River:   
Makiievskyi moved all-in pre-flop with what many would consider a marginal hand, and was called by Heinz, who had his opponent well covered.  As things turned out, Makiievskyi was only a slight dog to the underpair.  The flop brought a king, which transformed Makiievskyi into the huge favorite.  But the turn was a thunderbolt and a nail, in the form of a nine, giving Heinz a full house – nines over kings.   A river blank gave the German chip leader the 20,000,000 pot and knocked Makiievskyi to the rail in eight place.

7th Place – Bob Bounahra was eliminated on the 67th hand played at the final table.  The fateful hand came as follows:
Bob Bounahra:     
Martin Staszko:     
Flop:       
Turn:   
River:      
Bounahra moved all-in pre-flop desperately in need of a double up.  But severely short-stacked amateur’s raise was called by Staszko, who had his opponent well covered many times over.  Neither player made a pair, but the ace-nine played for Staszko, giving him the 12,000,000 pot.

6th Place – Eoghan O’Dea was eliminated on the 99th hand played at the final table.  It took place a few hands after O’Dea had been crippled on a critical losing hand to Ben Lamb.  The final fateful hand came as follows:
Eoghan O’Dea:    
Martin Staszko:     
Flop:       
Turn:   
River:   
O’Dea moved all-in pre-flop with a weak hand, hoping to catch a miracle and stay alive for at least one more round of blinds and antes.  Severely short-stacked, he was in a position where he had to make a move to make something happen.  His raise was called by Staszko, who had his opponent well covered many times over.  O’Dea picked up some extra outs on the turn, but the river was a blank.  The middle pair held up.

5th Place – Phil Collins was eliminated on the 100th hand played at the final table.  His final fateful hand came as follows:
Phil Collins:     
Pius Heinz:     
Flop:       
Turn:   
River:   
Heinz moved all-in pre-flop with his middle pair.  He had been playing quite aggressively most of the day, and Collins decided that ace-suited was too strong a hand to fold in a short-handed format (he explained later).  As it turned out, Heinz did indeed have a real hand.  The pocket nines held up making trips, knocking Collins to the rail.

4th Place – Matt Giannetti was eliminated on the 178th hand played at the final table.  His final fateful hand came as follows:
Matt Giannetti:     
Ben Lamb:     
Flop:       
Turn:   
River:   
 The final hand was as ugly as it gets for Giannetti.  He was already a considerable underdog to Lamb's pocket kings.  When two kings flopped, giving Lamb four kings, his supporters roared while Giannetti collapsed in disappointment.

3rd Place -- During the opening moments of the final table’s last stages, Ben Lamb, widely-regarded as the world’s top tournament poker player at the moment, and winner of the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” title, busted out in shocking fashion.  His elimination was not as stunning as the manner in which it occurred, which many observers would have thought unthinkable.  On the first hand dealt during the three-handed session, Lamb made a baffling move, trying to steal from opponent Martin Staszko in what can best be described as a highly-risky decision.  Facing a strong pre-flop raise from his Czech opponent, Lamb re-raised again holding king-jack – quite a marginal hand.  Staszko, holding pocket sevens, shoved all-in which left Lamb shaking his head pondering a bad situation.  Pot-committed to the hand, Lamb reluctantly called.  Staszko was all-in for his tournament life.  Lamb found himself only a slight dog to the underpair.  But he knew he’d played the hand way too strongly.  When five blanks hit the board, Lamb was left with a severely short stack.  He was eliminated just ten minutes later.

2nd Place -- Heads-up play lasted for more than six hours.  During this final duel, the two Europeans battled back and forth, exchanging the chip lead nine times.  The final hand was dealt (Hand #301) when Heinz bested Staszko with ace-king.  Neither player made a pair, which meant Heinz's ace-high played as the winning hand:
Pius Heinz:     
Martin Staszko:     
Flop:       
Turn:   
River:   

Martin Staszko’s second-place finish means the chip leader at the start of the final table has finished in one of the top two spots during each of the last three years.  Darvin Moon finished second in 2009 and Jonathan Duhamel finished first in 2010.


BEFORE THE NOVEMBER NINE:  HOW FINISHERS 22-10 BUSTED OUT

Day Eight began on July 19th with 22 players.  Play ended with nine survivors.  Here’s how the last 13 players prior to the November Nine were eliminated from the Main Event:

22nd Place – Lars Bonding (Las Vegas, NV -- USA) went out about 20 minutes into Day Eight.  He went bust holding pocket aces, which lost to pocket fours after a four flopped – good for a set.  Bonding is a 31-year-old professional poker player, originally from Denmark.  He is married and has two children.  He is mostly an online player, but is playing much more live poker in recent months.  Bonding is also a serious backgammon and former champion. Bonding collected $302,005 in prize money.

21st Place – Chris Moore (Willowick, OH -- USA) was eliminated about 35 minutes into play.  He was dealt a big hand, but got very unlucky.  Moore was all-in with pocket kings, which got clipped by Ace-Ten after an ace flopped – good for a higher pair.  Moore ended up with $302,005 in earnings for a fine effort.  He is a 28-year-old poker pro and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

20th Place – Gionni Demers (Jackson, NJ -- USA), a 23-year-old professional poker player, went out in 20th place.  On what turned out to be his final hand, he made a button all-in shove with Ace-5, hoping to steal a round of blinds and antes.  Unfortunately, his timing could not have been worse.  His opponent picked up pocket kings in the big blind and ended up busting out Demers.  He collected a nice consolation prize amounting to $302,005.

19th Place – Aleksandr Mozhnyakov (Himki -- RUSSIA) had been near the top of the leaderboard for three days.  But he went card dead late on Day Seven and failed to rebound on Day Eight.  Mozhnyakov was eliminated when he shoved what remained of his stack holding King-Queen suited, which ended up losing to an ace-high.  He collected $302,005 in prize money.  Mozhnyakov is a 25-year old lawyer, who recently graduated from law school.

18th Place – Kenny Shih (Taipei -- TAIWAN) exited the final table about 90 minutes into play.  He lost a race on what became his final hand.  Shih moved all-in holding pocket eights, which got crunched by a club flush.  Shih is originally from Taiwan.  But he now resides in Azusa, CA.  He is a 30-year-old poker pro who used to be a stock broker.  He arrived at this year’s WSOP with about $5,000 which was to be used to play in a few
tournaments.  He won a small tournament held at another casino and decided to use that prize money to play in the Main Event for the first time ever.  That turned out to be a very lucrative decision as he ended up with $378,796 in prize money.

17th Place – Sam Barnhart (Little Rock, AR -- USA) came into Day Eight ranked in the bottom third of the chip count.  He managed to double up once, but then suffered some misfortune when he moved all-in holding pocket nines, which ran into pocket kings.  The two cowboys held up, leaving Barnhart with $378,796 and some wonderful WSOP memories.  Barnhart is a 50-year-old data analyst for a software specialist.  He won the first-ever WSOP Circuit National Championship held this past May, which earned him his first WSOP gold bracelet.  Barnhart enjoyed a huge year -- with a WSOP Circuit win in Tunica, MS, a national championship, a gold bracelet and a deep run in the Main Event.

16th Place – Ryan Lenaghan (New Orleans, LA -- USA) had the chip lead at the end of Day Six.  It appeared he would be a favorite to make the November Nine, but then disaster struck towards the end of Day Seven when his stack was cut in half.  By the third hour of Day Eight, Lenaghan was one of the shortest stacks.  He moved all-in with Ace-8 suited, but was snapped called by Ace-Queen suited, which left him in serious trouble.  The Ace-Queen made a flush, which was overkill to Lenaghan’s hopes of doubling up.  He exited in 16th place, which paid $378,796.  Lenaghan is originally from Mobile, AL.  He now lives in New Orleans. Lenaghan is a graduate of LSU (general studies), where he also starred on the track team.  He has been playing poker professionally for about two years.  Lenaghan has recorded about $120,000 in WSOP-related earnings, most of which took place on the WSOP Circuit.

15th Place – Andrey Pateychuk (Moscow -- RUSSIA) decided he had to take a coin flip for all his chips when he was dealt Ace-Queen suited, which was tested by pocket jacks.  Pateychuk missed all his draws and ended up in 15th place, which paid $478,174.  Pateychuk is a 21-year-old college student and part-time poker player.  He was born in Vladivostok, Russia.  He was the youngest player in the tournament when there were 100 players remaining.  He will clearly be a player to watch at the WSOP in coming years.

14th Place – Scott Schwalich (West Carrollton, OH -- USA) played great poker but lost a late hand against Bryan Devonshire in the fourth hour of Day Eight, and then went out a few hands later.  Schwalich’s disastrous hand took place when he shoved all-in holding Ace-5 suited, which was called by Devonshire holding pocket tens.  The pair held up, which put Schwalich on life support.  He went out three hands later.  Schwalich is a 24-year-old professional poker player who was mostly an online player and is now playing
more live poker.  He collected $478,174 in prize money.

13th Place – Konstantinos Mamaliadis (Durban – SOUTH AFRICA) was never able to establish any momentum during the final stages of the closing days.  He played remarkably well considering he had few double-up opportunities.  He finally went out in 13th place, which paid $478,174.  Mamaliadis is a 34-year-old shipping company professional.  He nearly became the second final table player in history from the continent of Africa -- after fellow countryman Raymond Rahme made the first such appearance in 2007.

12th Place – Bryan Devonshire (Henderson, NV – USA) endured a roller coaster day.  But he ultimately went out after taking a major hit to his chip stack, which left him as the lowest player in chips.  On “Devo’s” final hand he was dealt King-Queen.  When his pre-flop raise was called by Eoghan O’Dea, Devonshire knew he was in trouble.  He was up against Ace-Queen.  Both players caught a queen, but Devonshire’s kicker problem was his doom.  He ended up collecting $607,882.  Devonshire is a 27-year-old professional
poker player originally from Southern California.  He was previously a youth pastor and a wilderness guide.  He discovered poker in 2003 and has since earned more than $2 million in live and online tournaments.  He intends to get married to his fiancée sometime in 2012.  Devonshire won a WSOP Circuit championship gold ring last year at Harrah’s Rincon, near San Diego.

11th Place – Khoa Nguyen (Calgary, Alberta – CANADA) hovered around the bottom of the chip rankings much of the day, but still managed to move way up the prize money ladder.  He finally went out when his pocket tens were no match to the pocket Kings held by Staszko and the board didn’t improve things.  Nguyen is a 29-year-old poker pro and businessman.  He plays both live and online.  He has a college degree in electrical engineering.  Eleventh place paid $607,882 in prize money.

10th Place – John Hewitt (San Jose – COSTA RICA) was low on chips and decided to shove hoping to either steal a round of blinds and antes, or perhaps double up.  He moved all-in with pocket 3s.  Eoghan O’Dea had plenty of chips and made the call with King-Jack.  The big cards managed to connect with an ace-high straight, which was the last WSOP hand of the summer played in Las Vegas.  Hewitt collected $607,882 as the unfortunate November Nine bubble finisher.

 
MORE TOURNAMENT NOTES

The tournament included 87 total tournament hours played by the winner (and runner up).

The Main Event included ten separate playing days/sessions.  The breakdown was as follows:
Day One began with four flights of 6,865 total (combined) players.
Day Two began with two flights of 4,521 total (combined) players.
Day Three began with 1,865 players.
Day Four began with 853 players.
Day Five began with 378 players.
Day Six began with 142 players.
Day Seven began with 57 players.
Day Eight began with 22 players.
Day Nine began with 9 players and played down to three.
Day Ten began with three players and played to the winner.

This was the fourth year of the “November Nine” concept.  Prior to 2008, all Main Event final tables were played as a continuum tied to the bulk of the Main Event.  However, starting in 2008, WSOP officials decided to delay the play of the final table and postpone the conclusion until November.  For this reason, the Main Event finalists are known as the November Nine.  While the decision to delay the conclusion of the Main Event was initially controversial, most players and fans have come to accept and support the change.  This year, the delay was particularly helpful to players, since the vast majority reside outside the United States. The 108-day hiatus allowed players to gather and bring their supporters to Las Vegas.

During its 42-year history, the WSOP Main Event Championship final table has been played at multiple locations, including:
1970-1986 – Binion’s Horseshoe (original site)
1987-1996 – Binion’s Horseshoe (new site – formally The Mint)
1997 – Fremont Street (under giant canopy)
1998 -- Binion’s Horseshoe (new site – formally The Mint)
1999-2005 – Binion’s Horseshoe (Benny’s Bullpen – second floor)
2006-2007 – Rio Las Vegas (Amazon Room)
2008-present – Rio Las Vegas (Penn and Teller Theatre)

This marks the seventh consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.  Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. As a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Caesars Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event, more than twice the money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past seven years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe.

The total number of entrants in the WSOP Main Event (all 42 years combined) is 58,657.
Over the past five years, the average attendance for the WSOP Main Event has been 6,776 entrants.  Hence, this year’s figure (6,865 entrants) was slightly ahead of the post-UIGEA average.

The average age of all players who participated in the Main Event was 37.2 years.

This is the 957th gold bracelet tournament event in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded. It also includes the 23 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National Championship.


ESPN COVERAGE

ESPN conducted a bold new experiment this year that is likely to be viewed as a historic occasion for the WSOP, and for the game of poker.  Television coverage more than doubled in size and scope, including – for the first time in history – comprehensive daily/nightly overage of the majority of the Main Event.

For the first time ever, the WSOP enjoyed semi-live coverage on ESPN (with a 30-minute delay) during the summer sessions. Final table coverage in November included a 15-minute delay.  No poker tournament has ever been covered to the extent of this Main Event Championship.  In addition to the original 32 broadcast hours that appeared as scheduled every Tuesday night on ESPN as has been the customary ritual, an additional 50 hours of semi-live coverage has aired, which means players and fans were exposed to more poker played than ever before. Content was spread across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

WSOP.com streamed ESPN3.com content in those countries/territories not served by ESPN.

ESPN’s on-air broadcast team included:  Lon McEachern, Norman Chad, Dave Tuchman, Antonio Esfandiari, Kara Scott, and others.

This was the ninth consecutive year that ESPN’s Lon McEachern and Norman Chad have served as commentators.  Their first poker broadcast was in 2003, when Chris Moneymaker won.


WOMEN IN THE MAIN EVENT


Special Note: The WSOP recognizes that player characteristics such as gender, race, etc., do not typically warrant special mention. However, since many members of the media and public wish to know details about female participation and status, staff is providing this information for media use.

The Main Event field included a total of 242 female players.  This figure represents 3.5 percent of the field.

The highest-finishing female in this year’s Main Event was Erika Moutinho (Easton, CT). She was eliminated during Day Seven.  Moutinho finished in 29th place and collected $242,636 in prize money.

Three females finished in the top 85, which was consistent the total number of female entries (3.5 percent).  The top three finishers were -- Erika Moutinho (Easton, CT) finishing 29th, Amanda Musumeci (Philadelphia, PA) finishing 62nd and Claudia Crawford (Brookhaven, MS) finishing 85th.

Here are the highest-female finishers (by year) in the WSOP Main Event (Note: Only players who finished in-the-money were recorded):
No female cashed in the Main Event between the years 1970-1985.
1986 – Wendeen Eolis (25th)
1987 – None
1988 – None
1989 – None
1990 – None
1991 – None
1992 – None
1993 – Marsha Waggoner (19th)
1994 – Barbara Samuelson (10th)
1995 – Barbara Enright (5th)
1996 – Lucy Rokach (26th)
1997 – Marsha Waggoner (12th)
1998 – Susie Isaacs (10th)
1999 – None
2000 – Annie Duke (10th)
2001 – None
2002 – None
2003 – Annie Duke (47th)
2004 – Rose Richie (98th)
2005 – Tiffany Williamson (15th)
2006 – Sabyl Cohen-Landrum (56th)
2007 – Maria Ho (38th)
2008 – Tiffany Michelle (17th)
2009 – Leo Margets, a.k.a. Leonor Margets (27th)
2010 – Breeze Zuckerman (121st)
2011 -- Erika Moutinho (29th)


FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS


There are 35 players in history (now 36 with Pius Heinz) who have won the WSOP Main Event Championship.  Of this number, 27 champions are still living. O f the 27 former world champions, 18 participated in this year’s Main Event.

This was the worst year ever for former world champions. Three former champions started Day Four, but none survived. The top finisher amongst the former champs was Robert Varkonyi, who ended up in 514th place. He was the only former winner to cash in the Main Event.
2002: Robert Varkonyi – Eliminated on Day Four – cashed in 514th place
1989: Phil Hellmuth – Eliminated on Day Four
1986: Berry Johnston – Eliminated on Day Four
1983: Tom McEvoy – Eliminated on Day Three
2009: Joe Cada – Eliminated on Day Three
1996: Huck Seed – Eliminated on Day Three
2001: Carlos Mortensen – Eliminated on Day Two
2006: Jamie Gold – Eliminated on Day Two
2005: Joe Hachem – Eliminated on Day Two
1978: Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin – Eliminated on Day Two
2010: Jonathan Duhamel – Eliminated on Day Two
1987/1988: Johnny Chan – Eliminated on Day Two
1995: Dan Harrington – Eliminated on Day Two
1998: Scotty Nguyen -- Eliminated on Day Two
1975/1976: Doyle Brunson – Eliminated on Day One
2003: Chris Moneymaker – Eliminated on Day One
2007: Jerry Yang – Eliminated on Day One
2004: Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – Eliminated on Day One


CELEBRITIES AND NOTABLE PLAYERS


The World Series of Poker has attracted celebrities and notable personalities since its inception. This year was no exception.  Here’s how the non-poker celebrities fared:
Mars Callahan (actor-director) – Eliminated on Day Six – cashed in 94th place
Robert Iler (actor – “The Sopranos”) – Eliminated on Day Five – cashed in 275th place
Sam Simon (creator of “The Simpsons”) – Eliminated on Day Four
Mark Loftouse (former NHL hockey player, Washington Capitals) – Eliminated on Day Four
Brad Garrett (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day Three
Jason Alexander (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day Three
Shannon Elizabeth (actress) – Eliminated on Day Two
Petter Northug (Two-time Olympic gold medalist/skier from Norway) – Eliminated on Day Two
Patrick Bruel (French singer and actor and former gold bracelet winner) – Eliminated on Day Two
Teddy Sheringham (UK football star) – Eliminated on Day Two
Rene Angelil (music manager – Celine Dion’s husband) – Eliminated on Day Two
David Einhorn (prospective owner – New York Mets) – Eliminated on Day Two
Paul Pierce (NBA’s Boston Celtics) – Eliminated on Day Two
Nelly (singer-performer) – Eliminated on Day One
Ray Romano (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day One
Shane Warne (cricketer) – Eliminated on Day One
Jennifer Tilly (actress and former WSOP gold bracelet winner) – Eliminated on Day One

Here’s how the Poker Hall of Fame members fared in the Main Event:
Berry Johnston – Eliminated on Day Four
Lyle Berman – Eliminated on Day Three
Mike Sexton – Eliminated on Day Two
Bobby Baldwin – Eliminated on Day Two
Dewey Tomko – Eliminated on Day Two
Dan Harrington – Eliminated on Day Two
Billy Baxter – Eliminated on Day Two
Doyle Brunson – Eliminated on Day One
T.J. Cloutier – Eliminated on Day One
Erik Seidel – Eliminated on Day One

Here’s how the former WSOP “Players of the Year” fared in the Main Event:
2008 -- Erick Lindgren – Eliminated on Day Seven – cashed in 43rd place
2005 -- Allen Cunningham – Eliminated in Day Six – cashed in 69th place
2004 -- Daniel Negreanu – Eliminated on Day Five – cashed in 211th place
2009 -- Jeffrey Lisandro – Eliminated on Day Four
2006 -- Jeff Madsen – Eliminated on Day Four
2010 -- Frank Kassela – Eliminated on Day One
2007 -- Tom Schneider – Eliminated on Day One

The top three finishing 2011 WSOP gold bracelet winners (there were 57 eligible winners) were as follows:
Ben Lamb -- Eliminated in Day Ten – cashed in 3rd place
Sam Barnhart – Eliminated on Day Eight – cashed in 17th place
Tyler Bonkowski – Eliminated on Day Seven – cashed in 60th place

There were two new records tied this year for the Main Event.  Chris Bjorin (London, UK) has defied the notion that poker has become a young person’s game.  The silver fox originally from Sweden cashed again this year, finishing in 460th place.  This was his fourth straight Main Event in-the-money finish, which ties the record for the longest streak in history for cashes in the Main Event.  Also, Diogo Borges (Lisbon, Portugal)
cashed in the Main Event for the fourth consecutive year.  Going into next year’s Main Event, both Borges and Bjorin will both have a chance to break the record as players with the most consecutive Main Event in-the-money finishes.


STARTING THE MAIN EVENT – BY COUNTRY


There were 105 different nations represented at the 2011 WSOP in all gold bracelet events.  There were 85 different nations represented in the Main Event Championship.
 
Based on the total number of entries, non-U.S. players made up 33 percent of the total field.  This is the largest percentage of internationally-based players in WSOP history.
 
If just the international contingent of participants were separated from the total field size, there would be an estimated 2,265 players.  The size of this group alone would constitute a larger field than any other live tournament ever held, outside the WSOP.
 
The breakdown of players – alphabetized by country along with number of entrants – was as follows:
1 -- American Samoa
3 -- Andorra
21 -- Argentina
80 -- Australia
37 -- Austria
2 -- Azerbaijan
1 -- Bahamas
1 -- Bahrain
1 -- Barbados
25 -- Belgium
2 -- Belize
2 -- Bolivia
1 -- Botswana
83 -- Brazil
4 -- Bulgaria
486 -- Canada
7 -- Chile
10 -- China
9 -- Columbia
3 -- Costa Rica
1 -- Croatia
4 -- Cyprus
9 -- Czech Republic
46 -- Denmark
5 -- Estonia
21 -- Finland
213 -- France
1 -- French Polynesia
156 -- Germany
5 -- Greece
1 -- Guam
4 -- Guatemala
8 -- Hong Kong
24 -- Hungary
2 -- Iceland
2 -- India
1 -- Indonesia
35 -- Ireland
18 -- Israel
106 -- Italy
24 -- Japan
2 -- Kazakhstan
7 -- Latvia
4 -- Lebanon
8 -- Lithuania
2 -- Macedonia
1 -- Malaysia
2 -- Malta
1 -- Marshall Islands
12 -- Mexico
3 -- Monaco
1 -- Mongolia
1 -- Montserrat
1 -- Morocco
59 -- Netherlands
5 -- New Zealand
34 -- Norway
1 -- Oman
2 -- Panama
3 -- Peru
3 -- Philippines
1 -- Poland
18 -- Portugal
4 -- Romania
108 -- Russia
7 -- Saint Lucia
1 -- Saudi Arabia
1 -- Senegal
4 -- Singapore
6 -- Slovakia
17 -- South Africa
6 -- South Korea
42 -- Spain
79 -- Sweden
26 -- Switzerland
2 -- Taiwan
2 -- Trinidad and Tobago
4 -- Turkey
1 -- Turks and Caicos
1 -- Canary Islands
3 -- Ukraine
288 -- United Kingdom
4,604 -- United States
3 -- Uruguay
20 – Venezuela


MORE TOURNAMENT STATISTICS


This is the third-largest live poker tournament in history. Only the 2006 WSOP Main Event (at 8,773 entrants) and the 2010 WSOP Main Event (at 7,319 entrants) were bigger.  Prior to this year, the third largest live tournament was the 2008 WSOP Main Event -- with 6,844 players.  Here are the six largest live poker tournaments in history:
2006 WSOP Main Event – 8,773 players
2010 WSOP Main Event – 7,319 players
2011 WSOP Main Event – 6,865 players
2008 WSOP Main Event – 6,844 players
2009 WSOP Main Event – 6,494 players
2007 WSOP Main Event – 6,358 players

This was the fourth consecutive year the WSOP Main Event has followed the delayed final table format.  In preceding years, final table play took place at the immediate conclusion of the WSOP tournament schedule, customarily played in late spring (or summer).  The delayed final table format means that once the final nine players of the Main Event are determined, those players take a long recess and then return to Las Vegas later to play for the championship.  Since the finale has taken place in November (since 2008), the nine final table survivors are referred to as the “November Nine.”

This year’s break between the date play was suspended (July 19) and resumed (November 6) meant a 109-day recess.


WSOP MAIN EVENT ALL-TIME RECORDS


Most Main Event Wins (Career):
3 – Johnny Moss (*first win was by vote)
3 – Stu Ungar
2 – Doyle Brunson
2 – Johnny Chan

Most Main Event Cashes (Career):
10 – Berry Johnston
8 – Humberto Brenes
7 – Bobby Baldwin
7 – Doyle Brunson
7 – Jay Heimowitz
8 – Phil Hellmuth – cashed this year (updated)
7 – Mike Sexton
7 – John Esposito – cashed this year (updated)
7 -- Chris Bjorin – cashed this year (updated)
6 – John Bonetti
6 – Johnny Moss
6 – Jason Lester
6 – Steve Lott
6 – Johnny Chan
5 – 14 players tied with 5 cashes each

Most Main Event Final Tables (Career):
5 – Doyle Brunson
5 – Jesse Alto
4 – Johnny Chan
4 – T.J. Cloutier
4 – Dan Harrington
4 – Berry Johnston
4 – Johnny Moss
4 – Stu Ungar
3 – 6 players tied with 3 final tables each

Youngest Winner:
Joe Cada (2009) -- 21 years, 11 months, 22 days

Oldest Winner:
Johnny Moss (1974) – 66 years, 11 months, 24 days

Oldest Participant:
97 years -- Jack Ury (2010)

Most Consecutive Years Played:
38 – Howard “Tahoe” Andrew (1974 to present)

Most Main Events Played (Career):
38 – Tie: Doyle Brunson (did not play 1999 through 2001); Howard “Tahoe” Andrew

Most Consecutive Cashes in Main Event (UPDATED):
4 -- Chris Bjorin (2008 to present)
4 -- Diogo Borges (2008 to present)
4 – Theodore Park (2005 – 2008)
4 – Bo Sehlstedt (2004 – 2007)
4 – Robert Turner (1991 – 1994)


WSOP -- FOR THE AGES


The youngest player to enter the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship was Logan Deen, from Cocoa, FL.  He turned 21 on the day he took his seat in the Main Event. This means he now holds a record than can only be tied, but never broken (unless age restriction laws are changed in the future).  He was cheered on by his family, who call themselves the “Deen Team.”  Unfortunately, he was eliminated on Day Two.

The oldest player to enter the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship was Ellen “Gram” Deeb, from Troy, NY.  She became the oldest female participant in Main Event history at the age of 91.  Mrs. Deeb was introduced to the huge crowd, which gave her one of the day’s biggest ovations.  After she stood to wave to the crowd, she grabbed the microphone from a tournament official and snapped, “I just have one thing to say! You are all playing for second!”  The crowd went wild.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Deeb was eliminated on Day One.  The WSOP looks forward to welcoming her again in 2012.


WSOP STATISTICS (ALL 2011 GOLD BRACELET EVENTS)


FINAL NUMBERS:  Through Las Vegas Event #58 and Cannes Event #7 (all gold bracelet events), WSOP tournaments attracted 78,298 combined total entries – the most players ever in a single year.

FINAL NUMBERS:  Through Las Vegas Event #58 and Cannes Event #7 (all gold bracelet events combined in 2011) show that the WSOP paid out $205,550,791 – the most of any single year in history.  Note:  This does not include a $1,000,000 payout in the WSOP Circuit National Championship (which had no entry fee).

NATIONALITIES OF WINNERS:  Through the conclusion of Event #58 (WSOP Las Vegas) and Event #7 (WSOP Europe), the breakdown of nationalities of gold bracelet winners this year has been as follows:
United States (39)
Canada (6)
Ukraine (4)
France (4)
Great Britain (3)
Russia (3)
Brazil (1)
Pakistan (1)
Sweden (1)
Switzerland (1)
Australia (1)
Germany (1)

BIRTHPLACES OF WINNERS:  Through the conclusion of Event #57 (WSOP Las Vegas) and Event #7 (WSOP Europe), the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been as follows:
United States (35)
Canada (6)
Ukraine (4)
France (4)
Great Britain (3)
Russia (3)
Germany (2)
Israel (1)
Honduras (1)
Indonesia (1)
Brazil (1)
Pakistan (1)
Sweden (1)
Switzerland (1)
Australia (1)

STATS -- PROS VS. AMATUERS:  Since tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP/WSOP Europe has the greatest disparity of professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded – with 56 out of 64 (completed) events won by pros or semi-pros.  Through the conclusion of Event #57 (WSOP Las Vegas) and Event #7 (WSOP Europe), the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been as follows:
Professional Players (51): Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler Bonkowski, Brian Rast (2 wins), John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Antonin Teisseire, Matt Matros, Marsha Wolak. Maxim Lykov, Nick Binger, Andrew Hinrichsen, Steve Billirakis, Tristan Wade, Michael Mizrachi, Philippe Boucher, Elio Fox, Pius Heinz
Semi-Pros (6): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis, Alexander Anter
Amateurs (8): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, David Singontiko, Guillaume Humbert

FIRST-TIME CASHERS WINNING:  Through the conclusion of all WSOP tournaments played in 2011, the victories of 14 of the 65 winners (22 percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.

LADIES COLD STREAK CONTINUES:  The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners is currently at 220- consecutive events, and counting.  Aside from the annual Ladies Poker Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008.  The longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996, when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.

BEST SHOWING BY A FEMALE:  The highest finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was accomplished by two players.  Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em).  Kim Nguyen also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).

BEST SHOWING BY A DEFENDING CHAMPION:  The highest finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.

WORLD CHAMPIONS THE YEAR AFTER VICTORY:  Defending world champion Jonathan Duhamel played in this tournament.  But he did not cash.  Reigning world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their victory. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened ten years ago, in 2001.  Perhaps it’s due to the increasing size of the fields. But there’s also great pressure on the champions to perform well.  What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold bracelet after winning the world championship during the previous year:
Johnny Moss (1975)
Doyle Brunson (1977)
Bobby Baldwin (1979)
Stu Ungar (1981)
Johnny Chan (1988)
Hamid Dastmalchi (1993)
Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2001)


RECORDS TIED OR BROKEN AT 2011 WSOP

Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2

Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3

Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10

Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16

Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3389 entries) – Event #56

Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3175 entries) – Event #20

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20

Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22

Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23

Largest Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Biggest Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) – Event #30

Largest single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)

Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19, 2011

Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) – Event #39

Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history ($3,393,400) – Event #42

New player records set at the 2011 WSOP:


The 35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP history. He accomplished this in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).

Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (84) and final table appearances (43).

Howard “Tahoe” Andrew added to his record as the player with the longest consecutive streak of WSOP appearances (entering at least one event each year), currently at 38 years and counting (1974 to present).

First player in history with three second-place finishes within a single year – Phil Hellmuth

Tony “Top Cat” Cousineau added to his record as the player with the most WSOP cashes, but no wins (49).

Chris Bjorin and Diogo Borges both cashed in the Main Event for the fourth straight year – tying the record.

……….

Note:  All results are now official and may be reprinted by media